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J Exp Biol. 1995 Oct;198(Pt 10):2067-78.

Peripheral regeneration and central sprouting of sensory neurone axons in Aplysia californica following nerve injury.

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  • 1Neurosciences, Loeb Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Morphological methods were used to examine injury-induced growth of peripheral and central axons of nociceptive mechanosensory neurones in the ventrocaudal (VC) clusters of the pleural ganglia of Aplysia californica. Pedal nerve crush transected all axons in the nerve while leaving the overlying sheath largely intact. Immunohistochemical staining was performed with an antibody to a sensory-neurone-specific peptide, sensorin-A. Following bilateral crush of pedal nerve p9, which innervates the tail, sensorin-A immunofluorescence was lost distal to the crush site within 2 days. Fine immunopositive fibres began to invade the crush region within 5 days. These fibres arborized in the crush region and gradually extended down the crushed nerve. Immunopositive fibres were found near the tail within 3 weeks. Similar results were obtained after injecting individual sensory neurone somata in the tail/p9 region of the VC cluster with biocytin. Biocytin injections and horseradish peroxidase injections 3 weeks after ipsilateral pedal nerve crush revealed new fibres projecting rostrally from the tail/p9 region of the VC cluster and entering the pleural-cerebral and pleural-abdominal connectives. Such projections were never observed in control, uncrushed preparations. These results demonstrate that nerve injury triggers extensive growth of both peripheral and central processes of the VC sensory neurones.

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